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Tampa Bay's leading luxury real estate team



Are Tampa Bay Realtor fees worth it? Well, it depends on the value and quality of your Orange County Realtor. But as a general rule of thumb in South Tampa, New Tampa, Clearwater and Westchase real estate, like in all things, you tend to get what you pay for.

It?s a new year, and the coastal Tampa Bay real estate market is waking from its seasonal slumber. Neighborhoods soon will swell with eager buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. If you?ve been thinking about selling your Tampa Bay Home, now is a great time to get down from the fence and find an agent to list it on the market. But which agent should you choose, and how much should you pay them?

Across the country, the standard commission rate that a seller pays their listing broker for helping to sell their home tends to hover between 5 and 6%. According to?data from the National Association of Realtors?, the average commission in 2019 was roughly 5.7%. Since real estate commissions are not officially regulated, it?s up to the seller and their agent to settle on a fair fee. Therefore, it?s important for sellers to know what they?re getting in return for the agent?s cut. So what does your commission get you?


The first thing to understand about commissions when selling your Tampa Bay home is how that money is divvied up. Say you agree to pay your listing agent 6% of the selling price. That 6% does not go straight into your listing agent?s pocket. In fact, he or she will likely only receive a fraction of that amount, maybe around 25 to 40%. That?s because, as the seller, you are actually paying both the listing agent?and?the buyer?s agent. But wait, there?s more! Let?s explore how a standard real estate commission breaks down.

First off, your 6% commission goes to the listing agent?s side. Per your listing agreement, the listing agent denotes what amount of that 6% they will pay to the buyer?s agent for making the deal happen, usually around 2.5 to 3%. Of course, the buyer has their own costs to worry about, from appraisals to inspections to insurance and more. However, they don?t directly pay their agent to help find them a home. Instead, the buyer agent gets about half of that 6% from the listing agent when the transaction is closed.

What?s more, agents on both sides of the transaction pay a substantial portion of their earnings to their parent brokerage. From the 3% portions designated for the listing agent and the buyer?s agent, up to half of that may end up going to their brokers. So, instead of 6%, or even 3%, the agents might walk away with 1.5% apiece from the total sale price. While that?s not necessarily a meager sum, as homes routinely sell for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, it?s a far cry from the glaring 6% that turns the stomach of many prospective Tampa Bay home sellers.


So your listing agent doesn?t necessarily get a big 6% payday out of your closing price. Even so, if you receive poor, inattentive service from your agent, then any amount will feel like too much. What should your agent do to earn their pay? And what expenses does a listing agent accrue in the process of selling your home? Most marketing practices involved in listing a Tampa Bay home for sale do incur costs out of the listing agent?s pocket.

Successfully selling Tampa Bay real estate in this digital age requires a keen eye for web-based marketing. By 2017, up to?95% of buyers were using online search to find a home, and it?s only increasing. That means that professional media including photos, videos, social media and email marketing now play a critical role in improving your home?s visibility to the prospective buyers. Your listing agent should provide marketing multimedia which portrays your home in its best light, and your commission helps to pay for those professional services.

Of course, the ?new school? of marketing hasn?t replaced the ?old school.? Your Tampa Bay real estate agent should include print and mail marketing in their plan. Postcards, flyers and brochures all remain relevant marketing tactics to let the neighborhood know that your home is for sale. And each of those methods costs money for printing, postage, design, and so on.

Most of all, your agent?s commission pays for their time and expertise. Hosting open houses, managing marketing campaigns, coordinating vendors like staging and inspections?if done right, each of these aspects of selling a home takes considerable time and effort. A good agent will also spend the time to field your questions, devise a strategy for success, negotiate on your behalf, and ensure that you are comfortable and informed at every step.


As with any profession, there are good and bad apples among Tampa Bay Realtors. Just because John Q. Agent charges 6% doesn?t necessarily mean he?ll do a good job of selling your Tampa Bay home. However, from a purely mathematical perspective, an agent who provides a ?discount? service is simply unable to provide the personal care and professional marketing required to make your sale a resounding success.

Choosing an agent based on a low fee, or choosing to sell on your own (known as FSBO, or ?For Sale By Owner?), is much more likely to backfire than it is to save you any money. In 2017, FSBO sales accounted for 7% of homes sold nationwide.?The average FSBO sale price was $200,000, compared to $265,500 for homes listed with an agent.?While it?s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, the difference of over 32% is still quite jarring.

So here?s the big takeaway: when you?re thinking about selling your Tampa Bay home, there?s a number of criteria you should look for. ?Lowest commission,? frankly, shouldn?t be that high on your list. You should choose your agent based on their competence and experience. Their honesty and reliability. Their track record. By how well their personality and schedule fit with your own.

A great Tampa Bay real estate agent is worth every penny. Lucky for you,?we happen to know some of the best. We have dozens of happy client reviews, years of experience in your neighborhood, and a veteran team of dedicated admin and marketing staff. If you?re thinking about selling or buying a home in Tampa Bay, or if you just want to discuss the current Tampa Bay real estate market,?get in touch to start a no-pressure conversation. We?re always happy to hear from you.


Whether you?re in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or elsewhere, the dangers of overpricing your home are the same: It just won?t sell. Simple enough, no? Well, if you?re still curious, then read on to explore the reasons that pricing your home too high for the Tampa Bay market is perhaps the worst thing you can do when trying to sell.

Say you love the old tile smattered over your split-level floor plan. You feel the pool you installed for six figures was an excellent investment. Your afternoon naps simply wouldn?t be the same without those blaring trains. You love everything about your home, so it must be worth a little extra, right? Not necessarily.

An all-too common mistake by those selling a home in Tampa Bay (and literally everywhere else) is that they overvalue their property. Maybe they want to recoup their investment on costly improvements. Maybe their personal taste doesn?t match with market trends. Maybe they did some misguided research, or maybe they?re just going with their gut. Whatever the reason for an unrealistic sense of their home?s value, they can all be deadly to a listing?s chances.

Inevitably, a portion of Sellers?will heed poor advice from agents who will say anything to sign a listing. Others may scorn the advice of a good agent. But what really happens when a home is overpriced?


Ironically, if your listing is overpriced, it?s more likely to sell for?less?than if you had priced correctly at the outset. Buyers are often reluctant to offer a ?lowball? price to an overpriced listing, for fear of wasting their own time or possibly offending the sellers. Sure, some bold buyers might decide (or be convinced by their agent) to bid low, but many more of them won?t even bother.

When a listing is priced too high, buyers will move on to spend their time and energy on the reasonably priced listings in the area. They don?t want to waste their effort. That leads to decreased competition for the overpriced listing, and in the end a lower sales price. Good agents can spot an overpriced listing from a mile away. When they spot one, they will know that their clients needn?t worry about getting stuck in a bidding war. A seller who has overpriced should expect to see lower bids and fewer of them.


Your first days and weeks on the market are the most crucial. When your listing goes live on the MLS, it triggers a cascade of events meant to help drum up interest in your property. Notifications are sent to buyers and agents through automated MLS alerts and search websites like Zillow,?when a home that meets their criteria hits the market. If your listing is overpriced, those alerts won?t get a second look. In fact, if your pricing is way off, those alerts won?t even go to the ?right? subset of buyers at all. Either way, you?ve wasted an opportunity.

As soon as your listing goes live, open houses and broker tours will populate on search sites, and your agent?s marketing plan should be in full swing. Snail mail, email, social media, agent networking?everything is full-speed ahead to supercharge your entry into the market. But, if you?ve priced too high, then you?ve stymied that effort from the get-go. Overpricing is?an exercise in self-sabotage.


Once the initial marketing period is over, an overpriced listing will continue to linger on the market. And linger. And linger. And linger? you get the point. ?Going stale,? in industry lingo, means being confronted with two options. First, you can simply wait. Perhaps you have the time to wait for conditions to improve. You?re not in a rush, and at the very least inflation will catch up to your unrealistic expectations eventually, right? Some sellers choose to pull their home off the market, but many don?t have that kind of time to spare, or they don?t want to live in listing limbo.

Your second option is a price drop. Sometimes, a price drop is a perfectly reasonable course of action; if it?s spurred because of a shift in market conditions, then you?re at least somewhat insulated by the fact that everyone else is floating in the same ebbing tide. However, if you must drop your price due to your own initial mistake, then you?ll turn into easy prey. Much like the lion that hunts the sickly gazelle, buyers will identify your listing as fundamentally weak. Offers will come in low, and buyers who see multiple price drops will just wait around for the next one.


The dangers of overpricing highlight the importance of finding an agent who you trust. You deserve a real and honest discussion. At?the Antonakos Luxury Group, we apply our experience in all areas of Tampa Bay and beyond to fit your needs, and we offer guidance based on the realities of the market?good or bad, up or down. We are your trusted advisor in selling or buying a home in Tampa Bay. If you?re considering making a change, reach out to start the no pressure conversation and we?ll discuss all your options.


The Tampa Bay real estate market is booming, and getting the best offer on your home means standing out from the competition. Perhaps you?ve been waiting on your home improvement ideas because of the winter blues or the rainy springtime season. ?Separating your home from the competition is a key factor in obtaining top-dollar. ?You can reduce days on the market and sell before your competition. ?Buyer’s get a good sense of what they want on their “first impression” of a home and it’s key to be clean and simple showing off the key characteristics of your home.


Whether a potential buyer is working with an agent or browsing on their own, their crucial first impression is based on exterior appearance, known in the business as ?curb appeal.? Tackling exterior home projects will put your best foot forward and greatly improve your chances that a prospective buyer will want to see more. Here are a few simple but highly effective ways to address your home?s appearance and increase your bottom line.


Landscaping can be as simple as tidying up through trimming, weeding, repairing cracked cement, and replacing damaged fence posts. Invest in some mulch, plant new greenery, install a level walkway or construct new raised flowerbeds. The first glance at your location needs to capture attention, and beautiful surrounding flora goes a long way.


As you work on your lawn, you might notice how lackluster your actual exterior looks when compared to other homes in the Tampa Bay real estate listings. There are two great ways to fix this, and they are both inexpensive. Pressure washing your home is a quick way to remove dirt, mildew and grime from both your home?s exterior and your driveway and walkways. The transformation of color through a high-powered cleaning is amazing, removing years of built-up dirt and grime. In addition to cleaning, adding a new coat of exterior paint will give your home the face-lift it deserves. If you don?t have the time or resources to repaint the entire structure, focus on freshening up your porch, window boxes and shutters with a fresh coat to draw the eye of potential buyers.


Before prospective buyers of your Tampa Bay home step inside to tour the interior, be sure there is plenty of light shining in to truly showcase the living space. Allowing the brilliant sunlight to come streaming through clean windows and secure screens will greatly accentuate your interior design. Pressure washing will help thoroughly clean your windows, but you will also want to replace any windows that are cracked and screens that are torn or full of holes.


Two features on the exterior of the home which have an enormous impact on approval of the interior are the air conditioning and deck or porch space. As we all know, the air conditioning unit helps to keep the interior comfortable, and each element must be fully functional to support this. Have your unit evaluated for energy efficiency and, if issues arise, schedule necessary repairs or replacement to offer potential buyers a comfortable environment. Energy efficiency is a huge selling point, so consider adding a smart thermostat system while you?re at it for additional value to buyers.

If you have a deck or porch space, take a close look at its stability and appearance. A new coat of stain or sealer can greatly improve its appearance, and your buyers will appreciate the attractive exterior extensions to your home?s living space. If your home doesn?t have a porch, consider adding one! It will provide you with plenty of outdoor enjoyment as well as a better selling price down the line.


Real estate experts know that one key to selling your home for a great price is creating a modern, functional space. Kitchens and bathrooms are the big winners here. Renovate your kitchen with new countertops, tile floors or refaced cabinets to bring a fresh and attractive feel to your home. Use neutral color schemes and materials that speak to high-end quality. Replace old carpet or linoleum with hardwood for an upgraded look that still offers durability. You don?t have to remodel everything, but choose items that present the most value to potential buyers and go from there.


The housing market in Tampa Bay often presents steep competition, and you are undoubtedly looking to gain the most equity out of your home when it sells. Make the most of the sunny weather and your free time in the summer months to follow these easy and affordable ways to increase the value of your home. If you have questions,?don?t hesitate to reach out!?We love helping our clients improve their homes to get the most out of their sale.

Who are iBuyers in Real Estate?

Amazon all but destroyed shopping malls. Expedia dislocated travel agents. Uber sent taxis into a tailspin.

Now will real estate agents be next? Will?iBuyers?take over their business?

The advent of online companies paying cash to buy homes directly from sellers has sent shock waves through real estate brokerages across the nation–in some areas.

Are they cutting out the Realtor?

The chief executive of California Association of Realtors told agents Wednesday, Sept. 25, they have little to fear from iBuyers ? provided they embrace change, technology and adapt.

The iBuyer ?changes the way you do business as technology has done ? to everything in the last 30 years,? said Joel Singer, CEO of the state Realtor association for the past three decades. ?But it doesn?t change it in a way that should generate fear. It should generate a sense of opportunity.

The traditional method of selling homes in America has survived decades of innovations many thought would eliminate brokers, even as internet users increased to 81% of the population. ?Citing figures showing 91 percent of home sellers used an agent this year.

The reasons are twofold, Singer said: First the industry itself has adapted and evolved. Seventy-seven percent of agents say they now are completely or almost completely mobile. Eighty-six percent use social media in their business. The average agent spends $2,000 a year on technology.

The other reason is the nature of home sales, which Singer said is more personal and complex than other transactions that have gone online ? such as buying an airline ticket or buying a book.

You cannot automate that (home buying) experience!

However, there is room for improvement.

Buying and selling a home can be a painful process. Twenty-six percent of homebuyers complain the process is too costly, while about a fifth say it takes too long, it?s inefficient, a ?rough ride,? according to a recent Google consumer poll.

?What should be an incredibly joyous thing, buying a new house, buying your first house, ? is often quite nerve-wracking, quite difficult, (with) a lot of uncertainty and stress,? Singer said. ?Until we can figure out how to deal with that, we make ourselves as an industry ripe for certain amounts of change.?

There?s no shortage of potential disruptors. Among them, discount brokers, flat-fee brokers, brokerages that let agents keep their commissions and brokerages with their own exclusive listing services.

iBuyers are perhaps the latest disruptor to appear, surfacing in Phoenix in 2014 then spreading across the nation. Companies like Opendoor, Redfin Now, Offerpad and Zillow started buying homes in Southern California in 2017. ?Opendoor has a close relationship with Lennar and have focused on purchasing resale homes built by Lennar, but has all the noise been successful?

They provide easy-to-use websites that allow home sellers to submit information about their house, then get a guaranteed cash offer within a week or less. The iBuyers deduct the cost of repairs and charge a ?convenience fee.? ?There is always fine print and most of the complaints have been the repairs have been excessive and offers have changed throughout the process, according to complaints on the Better Business Bureau site.

There is a place for iBuyers, catering mainly to sellers willing to take less for their home for the added convenience or certainty of a cash sale, Singer said. He estimated iBuyers will handle 10-15% of all home sales by the end of the next decade.

But they won?t take over!

For now, the biggest challenge for Real Estate Agents is one another. There will always be some type of company/business trying to gain market share, however the share seems to always be below 10% if they gain any traction at all. ?A good agent will explain the process to the client and set them up for success.

Referenced from Jeff Collins at Lake County Record-Bee



In the 1950?s, homeowners were wowed by dreams of the future, with flying cars, self-baking ovens and automated vacuums. Many of these concepts have come to life with smart home technology, though not necessarily in the way they were once imagined.

Smart homes today revolve around making life easier, letting you adjust everything from temperature to lighting from anywhere in the world. These types of improvements do a lot to?attract millennial buyers who have grown up with technology and look forward to its integration into the home.


Having access to tech in a home office, kitchen and bathroom will set your home apart from other houses without such modern conveniences. Fortunately, unlike completely remodeling major portions of the building, adding value to your Tampa Bay home with smart tech won?t break the bank.

Spending around $1,000 before putting your?Tampa Bay house for sale, a paltry sum where renovations are concerned, will result in significant gains on the housing market. Though these aren?t always monetary,?it can result in a faster sale?since these features are very attractive to buyers that would be interested in installing some of the same units themselves.


Many tech tools don?t take much of a time investment when it comes to installation but provide a host of benefits that you and future homeowners will inevitably enjoy. Some of the most common items that will help craft the perfect smart home include:

  • Video Doorbells?? Security is always a major concern, and being able to keep an eye on your front door while at work or even in the shower makes a home feel that much safer.


  • Smart Locks?? Another front-door option, these take a little more effort to install put the added security and keyless entry options make it a worthwhile addition.


  • Smoke Detectors?? Knowing anytime when there?s a fire or batteries need changing is a definite boon, and the cost of multiple detectors can be offset by smart devices that listen for the alarms already present in your house.


  • Thermostat?? The first real integrated smart device, this can ensure your home is always at the correct temperature and can even respond to voice commands when you?re relaxing on your couch!


  • Light Bulbs?? Lamps on timers have been a mainstay of vacationers for decades, but smart bulbs will turn on with your phone, and many can even adjust color and brightness on a whim!


  • Smart Speaker/Hub?? Alexa and Echo, Amazon and Google?s smart-home supermodels, are just two examples of units that respond to your voice and tie all of your tech together into a cohesive unit.

These simple upgrades will transform your home, and even though they seem like superficial additions they let possible buyers see your house as more than building. Safety and security are just as important as comfort and convenience, and when it?s all integrated it becomes one irresistible package!


While all of this technology does wonders for your home, you also need to consider?which rooms will benefit most?from electronic additions. Every area can be upgraded, but certain tech fits more easily in specific locations.

Living rooms or gathering spaces are definite spots to create a centralized hub for technology. Having your smart hub where everyone congregates makes it much easier to control and monitor the house while entertaining, and hose-shoppers will take notice when the primary living space is set up to be a control room for all of their toys.

Another space that benefits from these upgrades is the kitchen. While a smart refrigerator is more expensive than other options, adding high-tech appliances to the most complex room in the house makes it that much more alluring. Even something as simple as adding receptacles with USB ports by the nightstand can be a deal-maker!


It?s not just a fancy screen on a dryer that makes it a big selling point. Making your home smarter also makes it energy efficient. If lights turn off when you aren?t home and thermostats regulate heat and cooling efficiently, homeowners are going to see a drop in their energy bills. High tech security also looks good to insurance companies, so fire alarms and video doorbells are a definite win for you and potential buyers.

Getting your house ready for the Tampa Bay real estate?market is never easy, but make sure you keep smart home technology in mind as you prepare to put your?Tampa Bay house for sale. The added value comes in a variety of ways, and if spending around a thousand dollars helps you make the sale more quickly, it?s an investment any homeowner can get behind!

Crystal Lagoon COMING SOON to Wesley Chapel

Crystal Lagoon COMING SOON to Wesley Chapel

Pasco County, FL will soon be introducing The Epperson community, a 2,000 home planned development located in Wesley Chapel. ?The attention is not directly in the homes or the typical community amenities, but the fact that the communities developer has contracted Crystal Lagoons to build them a giant lagoon (see photo). ?This is the first of its kind in the United States and expectations and excitement are continuing to grow!

Metro Development Group, the company behind the actual community development – states the lagoon will take over 16 Million Gallons of water to fill and spread over 2000 feet in width and go as deep as 8 feet. ?In addition, while conventional swimming pools use a lot of chemicals and chlorine, the crystal lagoon uses less than 1 percent of the chemicals and less than 2 percent of the energy required for ordinary community pools. ?The lagoon can be used for a number of things, from traditional swimming and snorkeling, to sailing and kayaking. ?Developers even see the potential to host triathlons, weddings, and more once completed- day passes to the lagoon MAY be offered at some point and is still in discussions for those not living in the community.

Several home builders will make up the 2,000 homes in Epperson and prices will begin in the mid $200’s. ?For more information, a community tour, and/or purchasing options at Epperson please feel free to contact The Antonakos Luxury Group – Quicksilver Real Estate.

Reference Article:?https://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/233384889-story